5 Things About College They Won't Tell You at Orientation
Be Your Own Advisor
During freshman orientation, you’ll probably meet with your advisor to set up your class schedule for your first semester. Getting advice from your advisor and having them help you select your classes is great at first, but don’t get dependent on it. Your advisor won’t know exactly all the subjects you’re interested in, and won’t explain the entire course catalog for you. If you want to make sure you get the best classes, at the best times, you’ll need to set up your schedule yourself. Some colleges let you do it yourself online, but others won’t let you create your own schedule until you’re an upperclassman. Know your school’s policy, and be prepared with a list of classes you want to take when you show up for orientation registration for classes.
The Bookstore is Not that Great
Yes, the bookstore will probably have every office supply, textbook, and piece of school merchandise you’ll ever need, but it will usually be overpriced. The bookstore is a convenient place to grab something quickly when you’re in a pinch, but all the supplies and books you need for college can be found much cheaper online or in local retail stores where you can also get a wider variety of supplies, and potentially better quality. The bookstore is an easy way to drain your wallet, and the secret to avoiding the costs is to pick up all the supplies you’ll need long before you start school.
You Won’t Get Along with Everyone
Most likely, your orientation leaders will pitch to you the school motto of teamwork and helping each other learn, but those things are rarely ever as fun as your school handbook makes them out to be. Your roommate probably won’t be your best friend, and your group project partners will probably make your life harder, not easier. Of course, you will find people you’ll get along with, but don’t expect college to be some big “Kumbaya” around the campfire.
Campus Will Get Boring
A college campus always feels the biggest the first time you visit it, and your orientation leaders will no doubt sell all the amenities your school has to offer. With libraries, gyms, food courts, theaters, and sports arenas galore, it’s hard to imagine not having something to do, but you will eventually get bored with it all. You’ll want to check out events happening around the rest of your town, and maybe even in surrounding cities. It’s a good idea to make use of public transportation and any trips out of town that your school may be offering.
You Can’t Live on Fast Food
It’s tempting to eat Taco Bell and McDonald’s for every meal because it’s fast, cheap, and probably close to campus, but your health and your diet are important to your success in school, and you will eventually regret all those midnight burritos. Explore healthier options in your dining halls, and, if your dorm or apartment has a kitchen, take advantage of it. There’s no better time to learn to cook than right now, and your body will thank you for it.